NYC Top Comedy Choices for Sunday 9/29/13

September 29, 2013

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Breaking Bad at Comic Strip Live

Watch one of the very greatest shows in TV history conclude, with comedic commentary, at Comic Strip Live: Breaking Bad Viewing Party

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[TOP PICK] 6:00 pm ($5): At The Magnet theatre, Jon Bander performs his best solo(ish) sketch bits before embarking on a long comedy gig on a luxury cruise ship: Ban Voyage: A Farewell to Jon Bander

[MEGA-TOP PICK] [$] 7:00 pm ($20 at the door or $26.50 online using discount code DAISEY; no food/drink min.): Why is genius yarn-spinner Mike Daisey telling 29 new stories in a row (working off mere one-page outlines) in a 29-night, 44-hour monologue? Part of the answer appears near the start of Show #10: “I’ve always been willing to throw myself right off a cliff. It’s a beautiful feeling to know that below awaits the water or the rocks. When you’re suspended in that high arc above the brilliant blue, for a moment you are released, you are free…because you could live or die. I crave that.” If you crave seeing that, catch Mike live at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street, between East 4th Street & Astor Place); or experience this epic adventure at your convenience for FREE via iTunes: All the Faces of the Moon

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10) and 9:30 pm [FREE]: UCB Chelsea’s signature improv comedy extravaganza, which typically includes superstars in the improv world such as Chris Gethard, and occasionally network TV & movie stars such as Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz: ASSSSCAT 3000

7:30 pm ($5): “It’s important to stay informed. That’s why we bring you all the news that happened this month, at the end of this month. Just your average news show, keeping you up to date with your world one month at a time” at The Magnet theatre written & performed by Jarret Berenstein: Current Events

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm (no cover if you mention Heisenberg at the door, but 2-drink min or $20 unlimited nonalcoholic drinks): A comedy show from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm with Vic Henley (David Letterman, Comedy Central Presents), Mike Vecchione (Last Comic Standing, Howard Stern), and Joe Machi, and then a communal screening of the final episode of one of the very greatest series to ever grace a TV screen, Breaking Bad, with trivia questions & prizes during the commercial breaks. After that, “hug it out.” It all happens at the Comic Strip Live Comedy Club (1568 2nd Avenue off 81st Street): Comic Strip Live Breaking Bad Viewing Party

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($7): Myq Kaplan (one of the quickest minds in comedy, and rapidly rising star; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, hit comedy CDs Vegan Mind Meld and Meat Robot), Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Aparna Nancherla (delightfully wry stand-up; writer for FX’s Totally Biased), James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), and Ken Reid performing stand-up at Brooklyn’s Union Hall hosted by Caroline Creaghead: Creaghead & Company

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($5): Mike Drucker (hilarious stand-up; staff writer for Jimmy Fallon; freelance writer for SNL, The Onion, McSweeney’s), Matt Koff (writer for The Daily Show), Eliza Skinner (writer for Totally Biased), Stuckey & Murray (terrific comedic singing duo; Chelsea Lately, NBC, VH1, Fuse), Taylor Ketchum (Keith and The Girl), and Rojo Perez performing stand-up at UCB East with host Kara Klenk (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon): If You Build It

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:00 pm, 9:45 pm, and 11:30 pm ($14 per show, plus 2-item food/drink min.): Tonight’s lineups include SNL writer Michael Che at 8:00 and 9:45, and Ophira Eisenberg (author of hit book & soon-to-be-movie) at 11:30, performing at Comedy Cellar (117 MacDougal Street, between 3rd Street & Minetta Lane): Comedy Cellar Sunday

[TOP PICK] 8:00 pm ($8): Musical improv group The Shady Bunch, plus some friends, at The PIT upstairs theatre make up a rock opera on the spot based on an audience suggestion, while Lisa & Jim Flynn’s baby Sadie watches on (or sleeps through the whole thing): Gettin’ Shady With Sadie

8:00 pm ($5): Improvisors perform with their past or present improv instructors at The PIT downstairs lounge: Coach

[FREE] 8:00 pm: A variety show featuring stand-up, sketch, improv, music, and/or video at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by James Ferrarella: Fun Fun Yea

9:00 pm ($5): At The Magnet theatre, sketch comedy from a variety of comics: Sketch Sundays

[FREE] 9:00 pm: Michelle Wolf (super-likeable dark comic rising star; MTV, IFC, upcoming show at Carolines—use discount code BREAKOUT), Josh Rabinowitz, Christian Polanco, Pete Bladel, and Michael Kosta performing stand-up in the East Village’s Beauty Bar for this free weekly show hosted by Adam Sokol, Brad Austin, and/or Nate Fridson: Comedy at Beauty Bar

9:30 pm ($8): A veteran sketch troupe performs at The PIT upstairs theatre: City Hall

Sunday Open Mics & Open Stages

[FREE] 4:00 pm: An unusually early walk-in open-mic stand-up show (put your name in the bucket at 3:45), providing 3 minutes or more per comic at The Creek downstairs lounge in Queens’ Long Island City: Face-Plant Comedy Open Mic

[FREE] 5:00 pm (please note The Creek schedule contradicts itself on this show; it’s listed in one spot at 4:00 pm and in another at 5:00 pm…): A unique open mic for comedic musicians/singers, with signup at 4:30 pm, and a maximum of two songs & 10 minutes per performer, at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City (which offers a keyboard, guitar plug-ins, and an iPod plug-in): Express Yourself: Musical Open Mic

[ALMOST FREE] 5:00 pm ($1): Sign up at 4:30 pm to do improv with experienced PIT performers at The PIT downstairs lounge hosted by Sasha Capelli, Eitan Levine, and Shaina Stigler: 10K Jam Jam

[FREE] 5:30 pm: Open-mic stand-up, with 3 minutes per comic (unless not many folks show up, in which case there’ll be more time), with names drawn out of a bucket at UCB East in the bar area (“Hot Chicks Room”) hosted by Emmy Blotnick, Matt Nedostup, and/or Sachi Ezurafor: Sledgehammer

6:00 pm ($5): Open-mic stand-up that includes professional feedback on each comic’s 5-minute set at Queens LIC’s Laughing Devil Comedy Club (4738 Vernon Blvd.): Mic-Shop: Open Mic Workshop

[ALMOST FREE] 9:30 pm ($1): Open-mic comedy, with 4 minutes per performer, at The PIT downstairs lounge: Child Support

[FREE] 10:00 pm: The only open-stage show for entire groups of improvisors and sketch comics, running weekly at UCB East hosted by Austin Rodrigues: Bring Your Own Team: Improv/Sketch Team Jam

[FREE] 10:15 pm: Open-mic show for sketch and character bits running 3-5 minutes at The Magnet hosted by Sebastian Conelli. Everyone who signs up—at 9:45 pm at the box office—is likely to get onstage: Sketch in Progress

Best Inexpensive Stand-Up, Improv, Sketch, and Storytelling

Upright Citizens Brigade Chelsea
(307 West 26th Street; 150-seater; shows free-$10; one of the most respected comedy theatres in the world)

Upright Citizens Brigade East
(153 East 3rd Street; 99-seat main theatre, bar area for open mics; shows free-$10)

The PIT
(123 East 24th Street; 99-seat upstairs theatre, 40-seat downstairs theatre; shows free-$15)

The Magnet
(254 West 29th Street; 60-seat theatre; shows $5-$10)

The Creek and the Cave
(Queens’ Long Island City; 40-seat theatre upstairs, 25 downstairs; virtually all shows free)

Best NYC Stand-Up Comedy Clubs

Comedy Cellar
(117 MacDougal Street; among the finest daily stand-up lineups in the world; 2-item min.)

The Stand
(239 Third Avenue; recent competitor to Comedy Cellar; no drink min.—support this policy!)

Carolines Comedy Club
(1626 Broadway; focuses on the world’s top headliners, who perform hour-long sets; 2-drink min.)

Gotham Comedy Club
(208 West 23rd Street; headliners on weekends, specialty & lineup shows weekdays; 2-drink min.)

Eastville Comedy Club
(85 East 4th Street; strong weekend lineups; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

Greenwich Village Comedy Club
(99 MacDougal Street; convenient if Comedy Cellar’s sold out; no cover using code HyReviews; 2-drink min.)

From legendary NYC comedy site Brooklyn Vegan: If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously…It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is.


NYC Top Comedy Choices for Saturday 5/25/12

May 25, 2012

For more, please visit HyReviews.com.

Jeff Hiller

Jeff Hiller will weave his special magic as he makes up a musical tonight on Diamond Lion…

Vic Henley

…and the super-likeable Vic Henley headlines tonight and Saturday at the Gotham Comedy Club

Tonight’s recommendations for the best in New York City comedy (in chronological order, with top picks noted and shows over $10 marked with $) include:

[FREE] 6:00 pm: An open-mic show on a lottery system (sign-ups start at 5:30 pm) at The Creek downstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Mike Recine (Comedy Central) and Annie Lederman (Comedy Central): The Shinebox

[TOP PICK] 7:00 pm ($5): One of my favorite writer/actress/improvisors, the brilliant and luminous Lauren Olson, teams with Jon Bander and Karsten Cross at The PIT upstairs theatre to perform at improv trio Mr. Gorsky

7:00 pm ($5): All-gal Improvisors who’ve previously created viral sketch videos performing at The PIT downstairs lounge: Candy Slice Comedy

7:00 pm ($7): Improv at The Magnet revolving around “the anticipation, the fall-out, that fragile moment when love blooms or dies:” Double Date

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): Stone Cold Fox is the only sketch troupe (vs. improv troupe) to ever be honored with an ongoing spot on the prestigious UCB Chelsea weekend schedule. It’s earned this slot because its cast is one of the finest in comedy, with each performer strong enough for potential stardom; and, at their best, the troupe’s writers sizzle too. Both strengths are evident in Crisistown, an interactive sketch show in which the audience is periodically asked to choose which of two paths it wants to go down next. This highly playful approach puts you in charge; and it also tempts you to see the show repeatedly (just as you might return to a favorite improv group week after week), because each performance is a never-to-be-repeated event. A vibrant, brilliant cast and mostly terrific comedy writing—plus what was probably a near-superhuman directorial effort by comedy giant Shannon O’Neil—equals a wonderful way to kick off your Friday evening: Stone Cold Fox: Crisistown

[TOP PICK] 7:30 pm ($10): UCBT Artistic Director Nate Dern, Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show), Tracey Wigfield (writer for 30 Rock), Michael Kayne (Baby Wants Candy, Diamond Lion), Abra Tabak (Grandma’s Ashes), and more perform improv at UCB East springboarding scenes off interviewing an audience member about his or her love life: What I Did For Love

[$] [DISCOUNTED] 8:00 pm ($15 [vs. $25] online or at the box office using discount code BBOX): Telly Savalas returns to life to entertain you and provide life guidance in this 50-minute show that was a hit at FringeNYC 2011 and is now enjoying an open-ended Friday night run at the Soho Playhouse’s downstairs Huron Club. The script is at times very smart, especially in its choices of hilarious video clips and music tracks from the real Savalas…who, in his more intense moments, apparently rivaled William Shatner at his silliest. But even when Hunter Nelson’s writing isn’t consistent, actor Tom DiMenna—who is a professional comic with great timing and skill at engaging an audience—will keep you entertained: Who Loves You, Baby?

[FREE] 8:00 pm: Stand-up, pastry buns, and jello shots at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City hosted by Jonathan Powley: Buns and Puns

[$] 8:00 pm & 10:30 pm ($38.25 & 2-drink min.): A stand-up and comedic actor who’s hosted NBC’s Last Comic Standing and MTV Jams, and performed on HBO, Showtime, ABC, USA, TBS, and feature films, headlining through Sunday at Carolines: Bill Bellamy

[FREE] 8:00 pm: An open-mic show that’s first come, first serve (sign-ups start at 7:30 pm), with each comic getting five minutes on stage at The Creek in Queens’ Long Island City downstairs lounge: Mic and Cheese

[TOP PICK] [$] 8:30 pm ($15): A musical comedy at The Magnet “inspired by the real life plans of the US military to build a bomb that would make their enemies gay. The show is a cautionary tale set in a not-to-distant America that is a xenophobic, homophobic wet dream. This timely political piece is not only topical but extremely on point, leaving no stereotype unscathed.” Directed by Michael Martin, with music by Frank Spitznagel, and book and lyrics by Chris Friden & Steve Whyte: Gay Bomb

[$] 8:30 pm & 10:30 pm ($25 & 2-drink min.): Vic Henley is one of the most likeable stand-ups in the biz. He’s co-headlining tonight and Saturday with Kevin Flynn—who I’ve never seen, but is probably terrific too—at the Gotham Comedy Club: Vic Henley & Kevin Flynn

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Sharp improvisors at UCB East making up a musical on the spot—tonight featuring Jeff Hiller (30 Rock, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), and Zhubin Parang (writer for The Daily Show): Diamond Lion

[TOP PICK] [$] [DISCOUNTED] 9:00 pm & 11:00 pm (FREE TICKETS if you reserve in advance by calling (212) 260-2445 and mention HyReviews.com, but there’s still a 2-drink min. per person): TV & movie star Janeane Garofalo (9:00 pm only), Nate Bargatze (David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central Presents), Mike Britt (Comedy Central), and more performing stand-up at the only comedy club in the East Village: Eastville Comedy Club

[TOP PICK] 9:00 pm ($10): Some of the finest improv in NYC from UCB Chelsea’s all-star members of The Stepfathers

9:30 pm ($10): A PIT improv troupe making up a musical on the spot after a friendly greeting: Hello

9:30 pm ($5): “Where there is a stage and a piano, she will be there. Where there are strangers with embarrassing stories, she will be there. Where there is a group of people willing to sit and watch someone make up songs, she will be there. A one-woman musical improv journey through the lives of the audience. You tell the story, Rebecca Vigil sings the soundtrack” at The PIT downstairs lounge: The Vigilante

10:00 pm ($7): Singing improvisors at The Magnet using an interview with an audience member to craft The Made-Up Musical

[FREE] 10:00 pm: Long-form improv from troupe CSO at The Creek upstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City: Casual Sex Offenders

[TOP PICK] 10:30 pm ($10): Fran Gillespie, Jon Gabrus, Sue Galloway, Matt Fisher, Craig Rowin, Nate Lang, and other superb improvisors at UCB Chelsea making up scenes about an audience member’s legal dispute: The Law Firm: Law & Disorder

10:30 pm ($5): NYC comics (not announced) performing at UCB East hosted by Emily Axford, D’Arcy Carden, Alden Ford, Brandon Scott Jones, and/or Justin Tyler: Gentrify

11:00 pm ($8): James Adomian (hilarious, super-charged character comic/impressionist; finalist on most recent Last Comic Standing; Harold and Kumar 2), Greg Warren, Nore Davis, sketch troupe Carousel of Characters, and sketch troupe Chess Club performing at The PIT upstairs theatre hosted by Danny Jolles: Danny’s Funhouse

[TOP PICK] 11:30 pm ($5): Before this Magnet show, audience members may anonymously submit written confessions, secrets, rants, advice and opinions which will be used onstage by the improvisors—who include such talents as Laura Grey (stellar old-time radio style theatrical podcast Horrorgasm, sketch/improv duo Klepper & Grey): The Friday Night Sh*w

[TOP PICK] [FREE] Midnight: NYC stand-ups—sometimes stellar ones—pushing boundaries for a show designed for looseness and experimentation at The Creek downstairs theatre in Queens’ Long Island City with hosts Jacqueline Novak and Chris Laker: Permission to Fail

Midnight ($5): A screening of a 2010 feature film by the Upright Citizens Brigade written, co-directed, and co-starring Matt Besser, and also briefly featuring Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, and Ian Roberts (Ian almost steals the movie by simply delivering a doctor’s diagnosis…) at UCB East—which is a perfect venue for films because it used to be an indie movie theatre: Freak Dance

P.S. If you can’t make this screening, you can alternatively pay to see the movie for a brief time online via various streaming film sites and/or buy its soundtrack to enjoy anytime via iTunes.

[FREE] Midnight: This show might not be much fun for audience members, but it’s an amazing opportunity if you want to try out sketches for free and with almost zero hurdles on the prestigious UCB Chelsea stage. Hosted by Maude troupe Onassis: Liquid Courage

 For more, please visit HyReviews.com.